The February 2022 update on Hovsco’s official website, The Beginner’s Guide to Electric Bike Batteries, details how to buy batteries for electric bikes. Below are the details of this article.
Many aspects of modern life are powered by batteries. Although each battery performs the same basic function, the differences between them are huge.
Just as LEDs became the only option for bicycle lights, lithium-ion batteries are now the only option for e-bike batteries.
The same technology is being used everywhere, from cell phones to power drills to Tesla supercars. Because lithium-ion batteries are smaller and lighter than lead-acid batteries, they could allow for lighter bikes, longer range and lower weight, while reducing environmental and safety risks.
Currently, a number of firms – particularly car manufacturers – are exploring solid-state battery technology. Solid-state batteries have the potential to offer greater range, faster charging, and a longer lifespan. However, they are still a few years away. Today, it’s all about lithium-ion batteries.
These batteries last longer than lead acid batteries. Typically, lead-acid batteries need to be replaced after 200-300 charges, whereas lithium-ion batteries are expected to last between 500-2000 charges, depending on battery quality – and that’s only set to increase with new batteries claiming up to 12 years of service.
Fast chargers are also a lot more efficient, as they can fill up an e-bike battery in just a few hours. Lithium-ion batteries have only one major downside: They need to be charged carefully to avoid damaging the cells, which adds a little to the overall cost. The electronics needed to control the charge are normally integrated into the battery unit.
A lithium polymer battery is a subset of a lithium ion battery. The battery works similarly, but instead of grouping separate solid cells, it uses a non-rigid container. With a lighter construction, battery manufacturers can create a greater variety of battery shapes.
Lithium polymer batteries are mainly used for smaller devices (phone contains one), but some electric car manufacturers have used them in vehicles, and the ability to customize the shape of the battery is a bonus for e-bikes that integrate the battery into the frame.
Capacity (Ah and Wh)
Typically, capacity is measured in amp hours (Ah) or watt hours (Wh). Essentially, they’re both measuring the same thing, but the watt hour is taking over as the standard because it’s more consumer-friendly.
A battery with a capacity of 10Ah can theoretically supply 1 ampere of current for 10 hours (or 10 amperes for 1 hour). Multiply this number by the voltage the battery supplies (in e-bikes it is usually 36v, but 24v and 48v systems are also available) to get the capacity in watt hours. Voltage multiplied by current equals power, measured in watts. For example, a 10Ah, 36V battery is 360Wh.
Batteries for e-bikes come in a variety of capacities. Battery production is usually the most expensive part of the bike, so cheaper bikes tend to have smaller batteries. Batteries on the cheapest bikes range from 150Wh to 200Wh, and the standard range is 300Wh to 500Wh.
Using more than one battery can also increase battery capacity. In 2016, Bosch announced a dual-battery system, which manufacturers have frequently adopted – or at least offered as an upgrade. Batteries up to 1,000Wh (2 x 500Wh) are available.
Lithium-ion batteries used to be very expensive. As with any emerging technology, improvements in the technology and economies of scale have greatly reduced their price, and should continue to do so. In 2005, it cost about $1,000 to make a lithium ion battery with a capacity of 1,000Wh. Ten years later, the price had dropped to $250. The trend has continued as the world’s supply of lithium-ion batteries has surged.
In addition to their ease of disposal and recyclability, lithium-ion batteries are becoming more popular in the European and US markets.
Lead acid batteries have become illegal to dispose of in several states in the United States and in the European Union, so getting rid of them once they have reached the end of their useful lives is difficult.
Lithium-ion, on the other hand, can be disposed of and recycled more easily because it has a low environmental impact as a technology.
Despite the lack of regulations, recycling itself is slightly more complex. With the increase in numbers of this battery type, however, moves are being made.
Specialized recently launched a battery recycling program for e-bikes in the UK. According to a 2019 estimate by the UK consultancy Circular Energy Storage, only half of lithium-ion batteries that reached the end of their lives in the previous year were recycled.
HOVSCO is a company specializing in electric bicycles. With advanced production technology, it focuses on the production and sales of electric bicycles. These include mountain e-bikes and city e-bikes. It is very popular among consumers for its good quality.